Resources for Peer Assisted Learning (PAL) Programs
Peer Assisted Learning (PAL) program is a broad term for approaches employing a student to facilitate or lead study groups for historically-difficult courses. Most often, PAL is used with college-level courses. Some of major models that have been adopted nationally or internationally include: Supplemental Instruction (SI), Peer Assisted Learning (PAL), Peer-led Team Learning (PLTL), Emerging Scholars Program (ESP, operates under other names as well), Structured Learning Assistance (SLA), Accelerated Learning Groups (ALG), and Video-Based Supplemental Instruction (VSI). The following resources could be adapted for use with nearly any PAL approach.
Resources to Learn More about PAL Programs
The following publications and online resources will help you explore the major peer assisted learning models operating at the postsecondary level.
Bibliography focused on the seven major postsecondary peer cooperative learning programs indicated above. More than 1,400+ entries with many providing links to online versions of the documents. Endnote file used to maintain it is available to download.
This chapter provides an overview of the seven major postsecondary peer cooperative learning programs. Over 1,400+ annotated citations of them contained in the bibliography above. Many of them are available online through another link on this web page.
Several centers and organizations host conferences, training institutes, provide information through websites, and publish journals of interest to PAL programs.
Several organizations publish journals devoted to PAL-related articles. Several other publications often publish articles of interest to PAL personnel.
The professional literature about PAL programs is vast. These are a few I highly recommend for reading and reference.
Podcast and YouTube Channels Related to PAL Programs
The following are a sample of audio-visual resources for more information about PAL.
Hosted by David Arendale, this audio and video podcast features interviews with student PAL leaders, research updates from David concerning professional publications, and more. The podcast can be subscribed through iTunes, Google, and other venues.
The YouTube channel provides the same audio and video episodes as distributed through the PAL Groups Podcast and also David's conference presentations, webinars, and workshops.
The YouTube playlist is maintained by David Arendale to identify videos about a variety of peer learning programs such as SI, PLTL, and others.
Training and Professional Development Resources
Join the conversation with other peer administrators through the email listservs, listen to the podcast, and download the manual used at UMN to train PAL student leaders.
The basic training manual used with PAL Facilitators. Feel free to use and adapt for use at your campus. It incorporates best practices from Supplemental Instruction, Emerging Scholars Program, and Peer Led-Team Learning.
The Supplemental Instruction (SI) training office sponsors a free email listserv for professionals implementing SI to ask and answer questions. Even if you are not implementing SI, the conversations might still be useful due to the topics.
LRNASST is a broad-based email discussion group for professionals involved with learning assistance including peer learning programs.
This free audio podcast contains interviews with student PAL facilitators here at updates on the latest peer learning research. Perhaps this will inspire you to record stories from your PAL leaders to use when training future ones.
The Handbook for Training Peer Tutors and Mentors is a must-read resource for postsecondary faculty and learning center professionals who hire, train, and supervise tutors and mentors. This handbook prepares programs to apply for CRLA certification.
Professional Standards for Peer Learning Programs
These standards have been established by professional associations and organizations that represent the field of learning assistance. Several of them also offer certification, professional development, workshops, and training materials.
These are based on the NADE (now named NOSS) Standards for guiding peer learning assistance programs such as Supplemental Instruction, Structured Learning Assistance, Emerging Scholars Program, Peer-led Team Learning, and others
NOSS offers a formal certification process for peer learning programs to achieve a credential for their peer learning assistance program. Other components can also be certified such as tutoring, developmental-level coursework, and others.
The International SI Center offers a certification program to showcase outstanding SI programs.
ITTPC certifies tutor training programs in postsecondary educational institutions. Once granted CRLA certification, the tutor training programs each have the authority to recognize their tutors as having met ITTPC tutor training program requirements.
IMTPC certifies mentor training programs in postsecondary educational institutions. Once certified, the mentor training programs each have the authority to certify their mentors who have met the approved IMTPC mentor training program requirements.
ATP provides various levels of tutor certification and certifications for tutor trainers.
The NTA is dedicated to providing an increasingly wide range of training and certification opportunities for practitioners in every sector of the tutoring community.
Founded in 1979, the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education (CAS) is the pre-eminent force for promoting standards in student affairs, student services, and student development programs such as Learning Assistance and 43 more.
PAL Overview Presentation
The following items come from several presentations I have made over the years about PAL approaches for academic support.
As with the bibliography of online articles, this list is dated and no doubt filled with broken web links. The updated list of all documents is through the first item in this category, annotated bibliography of PAL programs.